If you want to be ripped and cause a minor commotion at the pool when you take off your shirt, then you need to put in a lot of time at the gym and create a diet that’s high in lean protein and low in processed carbs and sugar. Getting swole and diced is a lifestyle, but most people don’t have the time or motivation (or genes) to look like a fitness model.
Most people do have the time, however, to exercise enough to improve their health.
You don’t even have to put that much time into your activities each week to confer a benefit. Just meet the minimum recommendation of 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week and you’ll reduce your risk of an early death from any cause by a whopping 28%, according to new research from McMaster University in Canada. And that goes for any type of movement that is physical: mowing the lawn, mopping the floor, or hitting the treadmill.
“By including low- and middle-income countries in this study, we were able to determine the benefit of activities such as active commuting, having an active job, or even doing housework,” said lead study author Scott Lear, M.D., a professor of Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. “Going to the gym is great, but we only have so much time we can spend there. If we can walk to work, or at lunchtime, that will help too.”
The study found that if everyone was active for at least 150 minutes per week, about 8% of early deaths of more than seven years could be averted. Meeting the guidelines also lowered risk of heart disease by 20%, and showed that 750 minutes of quick walking a week dropped all-cause early mortality by 36%.
Looking for a way to translate some of your spare time at home to more muscle and a slimmer waistline? Check out these 10 at-home workouts to build muscle in under 20 minutes.
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